EBS currency trading volumes soar in volatile January

Tue Feb 3, 2015 11:12am EST
 
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LONDON Feb 3 (Reuters) - Foreign exchange spot volumes on the EBS platform rose 48 percent in January compared with the same month last year, averaging the equivalent of $130 billion a day, parent company ICAP said on Tuesday.

January was a turbulent month for the FX market, with a shock move on Jan. 15 by the Swiss National Bank to scrap its more-than three-year-old franc cap against the euro setting in motion the most volatile day on major currency markets in the era of floating exchange rates.

Volatility also spiked on Jan. 22, when the European Central Bank launched a quantitative easing programme which, though long-awaited, surprised markets with its size: 1.1 trillion euros of bond purchases over 18 months.

EBS, one of the main venues for banks and other major players trading the dollar, euro, yen and Swiss franc, does not normally break down foreign exchange trading volumes for individual days, but industry sources said volumes on the platform topped $300 billion on the day of the SNB move.

For the 12 months ending Jan. 31, average daily EBS trading volumes fell 5 percent to $96.1 billion. (Reporting by Jemima Kelly; editing by John Stonestreet)